I was thinking today about schedules and commitments and about how time seems to expand and contract. My kids are loving the summer time; water, sunshine, and freedom. What more can a kid want? I, on the other hand, feel like I have just traded one type of work for another.
I may not be driving my kids to dance, music, and their other activities but I am gardening, doing home repairs, and driving my kids around to their activities. So what does this really have to do with taking courses on SJSU? Well, actually a lot. Here are a few tips to help keep you organized:
- Don’t procrastinate! Life happens and usually at the most inopportune moments – like when you have assignments due. Try to have your assignments completed at least a couple of days prior to due dates. That way you have time to do one more edit, if you choose. More importantly, you can say “yes” to that impromptu ticket to the ball game or concert.
- Break assignments into bite-size pieces – and schedule them too. Some assignments can feel overwhelming. But a beaver can cut down a tree one bite at a time. (I just came from the lake – you can tell where my minds at. I love beavers; they know how to turn work into something fun.)
- Schedule your time. Block time to work on your classes into your calendar. Be creative. I have completed most of my courses in ballet studios. I know some students that turn their notes into PDFs that they download onto their Kindles or other devises. Perfect for reading on the bus during long commutes.
- If you are working in the field, consider how you can make your assignments work at work.In a Collection Development course, I used my assignment to develop a plan to renew one aspect of my collection.
- This one will be tough for some. Shut off the cell, close down your email, turn off the IM and any other communication tool you use. Shut off the TV. Uninterrupted time is precious. Answering messages and chatting will eat away at eat away at that precious time you scheduled faster than anything else.
- Take a little time for yourself. A short walk, a good book – even pulling weeds – can rejuvenate a person more than a cup of coffee and donut. (When I’m stressed, though, boy do I want that donut!)
I won’t promise that you won’t have the odd sleepless night and I can attest that I have a few more gray hairs than I did before starting the program. But, I can also say that I smile when my daughter brings her homework to the dining room table to work with me. I have a better library now than I did three years ago. And, I have met some amazingly talented and generous people. So I can honestly say that the journey is worth the cost.
What are your tips?